January, 2019

Dear Praying Friends,

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a milestone is defined as “an important point in the progress or development of something.” We all have milestones in our lives, some of which we can anticipate in advance, but many of which we only realize when we look back. In the nearly 18 months we’ve been in Knysna, God has blessed us with the opportunity to experience several milestones thus far: arriving in Knysna on August 16, 2017; launching the Biblical Leadership Institute on March 3, 2018; Ashley’s graduation from high school on June 1, 2018; moving to our home in Brenton-on-Sea on August 31, 2018; and many more!

Thus far, 2019 has already held one milestone for us, and we anticipate another coming in just a few days. Our church planting initiative with the Hunter family gradually developed through a midweek Bible study during 2018. In November, we approached our group with the idea of adding a Sunday service in early 2019. Our plan was to implement the Sunday gatherings slowly, perhaps starting at once per month and increasing the frequency as our group was ready. Well, God had already been working amongst our group, and as Herb gently began the conversation, we were overwhelmed to hear how ready our group was to get started with Sunday meetings! And so, on January 13, we held our first Sunday service. We had many people come to support the launch of our church plant, including the Rudolph’s, Gahman’s, and a missions team from Pequea Baptist Church in PA. What a joy to see our church-in-formation begin!!

Many of you have been praying for this very thing since we arrived, and we want to thank you for your faithfulness to God and to us. There is nothing like seeing God answer prayer! Please continue to pray for our group. We have a solid core who have already been with us for nearly a year, but we are also reaching out to many people in our community who are curious about what we’re doing but who have not yet expressed faith in Christ. Please pray we prioritize evangelism and the building of new relationships, while at the same time remaining faithful to those whom God has placed in our spiritual care.

While January has brought this amazing milestone, we anticipate another milestone in just a few days. On Monday, February 4th, Amy will begin teaching beginning computer classes and typing classes for over 20 people on Monday afternoons, Wednesday mornings, and Thursday mornings through Knysna Hope’s program, Launch: Workplace Readiness. Its purpose is to teach people basic computer skills to increase their employability or promotability. The Launch initiative began in August of last year, with Kristen Golson teaching the computer training classes. For the first half of this year, while the Goldson’s are on furlough, Amy will be stepping in to teach. While Amy has exceptional computer and typing skills, she never would have imagined teaching in this program. This is just another example of how God uses us in ways we would never expect or even seek out for ourselves.

Please pray for Amy as she begins this new phase of her ministry. Though I (George) know she will do a great job, she really doesn’t see herself as a teacher, even though she’s actually quite good at it! Please pray her nerves will be calm and that the students will participate and learn maximally over the next 11 weeks. One of the key concerns is the quality of the WiFi at the Knysna Hope building. It has been rather “sketchy” for several weeks now, and even though we’ve had multiple visits from our internet provider, it continues to frustrate us regularly. Amy needs smooth, fast (relatively speaking!) WiFi for what she needs to teach in the computer classes. Please pray that our students are served well during these classes.

There is much more happening here, but for now we wanted to highlight these two milestones. We thank God for using us, helping us, sustaining us, and reminding us regularly of His grace in our lives. Thank you all for the part you play in supporting us through prayer, finances, encouragement, and love. We marvel at your faithfulness and ask God to bless you for all you do!

In Christ Alone,
George, Amy, George David, Ashley, and Alyssa